Skkynet Cloud Systems helps Siemens digitize and remotely monitor Argentine power plants https://www.automation.com/files/pluginfiles/item_99826/field_376/SKKY-Q2_reg.jpg
6. December 2018 - In line with its Industry 4.0 strategy, Siemens recently launched an initiative called Digitalization that offers digital solutions "for greater efficiency", sustainability and security. "As part of this initiative, Siemens is promoting the use of data-driven services to monitor power plants, thereby contributing to a reliable energy supply. In the sales force, Siemens employees work to translate these ideas into real projects. Here is the story of a project that has improved the performance of power plants and reduced emissions.
A few months ago, Alexis Tricco of Siemens Buenos Aires in Argentina undertook her first digitization project. In his role as technical support for power plant generation, he and his team are responsible for overseeing the operation and adoption of new technologies to reduce costs and ensure greater reliability of the physical asset. In this project, Tricco was tasked with developing a safe and reliable method for collecting data from control systems in power plants hundreds of miles away from the Siemens office. The first phase was to be a pilot project to connect its WinCC OA SCADA system to a Siemens T3000 DCS operating in a power plant located about 100 kilometers from Buenos Aires. The live data would be used for oversight control and for the development of new predictive control strategies.
A significant challenge of the project was the involvement of two networks, the control network and a multi-customer network, interconnected by an intermediary computer. "My idea was to transfer all process data to my SCADA system running on the customer's network," said Tricco. "To do that, I had to replicate the data from the DCS to the interface PC and from there to the SCADA system, and this basic data access was the first phase of the project."
Caption: Access to production data from a remote SCADA system and other clients across different networks.
For Ticco's data communication protocol chose OPC because the DCS has an OPC server and the SCADA system has an OPC client. However, as OPC DA does not network well, it decided to tunnel the OPC data over TCP with a corporate VPN. After reviewing the OPC tunnel software that met his needs, he chose Cogent DataHub.
"I had to communicate across different networks, with endpoints that can convert between TCP and OPC while acting as server and client." said. "The DataHub software has an OPC server on one side and an OPC client on the other side. That's exactly what I needed. The other software I looked at needed two licenses for each PC. I had to think about the costs.
"Also, the software is easy to use and not complicated to understand. I only read the manual once and have it worked in less than a day. We did some testing, and when everything worked, we presented the idea of management for their feedback. "
The pilot project was successful and the management decided to implement the solution. Tricco can now collect OPC data from the plant's control system online and analyze it in real time. The system connects to the SCADA server in the main office complex of Buenos Aires in the control room to monitor remote locations. Like Tricco, business engineers can monitor the performance of each power plant's gas turbines and use the data to optimize combustion and limit emissions to meet regulatory requirements. It is not necessary to go on site.
"To optimize combustion at a customer's site, someone had to drive or fly to the site, resulting in significant costs and lost working time," said Tricco. "Now we can do everything remotely. When I'm at home, I can connect to our VPN and adjust the process in a few hours. When we receive data from the customer, we can choose which equipment to monitor in which part of the plant and whether or not to optimize performance.
This first implementation demonstrates the practical value of digitization for all involved. The customer is satisfied with the solution because he knows that his plants are operating at the highest possible capacity and emissions are actually reduced. Regulators praise the increased compliance. In addition to a new source of revenue for this service, Siemens is building a stronger relationship with the customer. It is currently planned to immediately roll out the solution to two more plants and then further expand the program.Did you enjoy this article?
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